General Question

Foolaholic's avatar

Good practicaly birthday gifts?

Asked by Foolaholic (5804points) January 26th, 2009

My mother keeps asking me to come up with brithday gift ideas for myself, so she can spread them around to the family. Problem is, I can’t think of anything I really want (barring computer equitment, which I don’t trust my family to shop for). Does anyone have anything practical that they enjoy having around?

Keep in mind, I’m 19 and male, and my dorm doesn’t allow most things that produce heat…

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17 Answers

Judi's avatar

Best Buy gift cards?

dynamicduo's avatar

Gift cards are always a great solution for these cases.

Then again, outright cash would be really handy for hanging out with friends, buying food at the bar, etc. But it’s a bit tacky to ask for cash. If you are given the opportunity to though, you could voice your preference for it (such as your mum asking you “Or would you just prefer some spending money?”).

Alternatively, if you really can’t think of anything you want or need now, how about asking them to combine their present into one investment fund or similar locked-in savings avenue that will mature when you graduate? That way you can treat yourself to a vacation at the end of your education, or maybe you will want to rent an apartment and start a job, etc etc.

cwilbur's avatar

Food things? Clothing things? Do you have any hobbies that aren’t centered on electronics?

cak's avatar

Best Buy cards, restaurant gift cards, gas cards (if you drive!)...deposit into the checking account!! ;) It is hard to ask for money, without sounding bad – but hey – it’s honest!

Think of where you go out to eat or buy things – ask for cards for those places. Or, as for new supplies! Any cleaning – school supplies – anything?

cyndyh's avatar

Grocery or local restaurant gift cards, too. A nice quality desk lamp. Smartwool socks. Care package to arrive during finals week.

I see cak beat me to the gift card for restaurants idea.

Kiev749's avatar

Newegg gift cards. pants, shoes, dorm room necessities. Gift card to local grocery store for snacks.

elijah's avatar

A new wallet, cologne, lounge pants (comfy fleece or flannel), new bed sheets, slippers, a small fridge for soda (coughbeercough).

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

It doesn’t produce that much heat…

One of those toasters that burn a little picture on your toast.

figbash's avatar

Have you tried an wishlist? Throughout the year, whenever I see something I want, I add it as a reminder to my wishlist. You can pretty much put anything on there. Then, when I have extra cash, I go through and prioritize the things I want, and buy them.

As a student you could add food, books, school supplies, housewares, media, clothes, etc.

When my family had the same question years back, I didn’t quite know quite what to tell them to get me. I just linked them to my wish list. Since then, they’ve used it to get me things they know I want, or I get a gift certificate to Amazon.

mangeons's avatar

Best Buy, Wal-mart, Target gift cards, to buy stuff for your dorm? A nice camera is always handy as well. :)

bodyhead's avatar

I’m with figbash. Just maintain a list of what you want on Amazon. That way your family will always get you the right thing.

figbash's avatar

@foolaholic and bodyhead: It’s also great because they can use it at Christmas too!

Bri_L's avatar

Magazine subscription
reasonable and a nice monthly surprise

augustlan's avatar

In the gift card category, ask for Visa or American Express gift cards. They can be used anywhere that accepts (those) credit cards. I also like DynamicDuo’s savings/investment account idea.

maybe_KB's avatar

Walmart-Target-Restaurant, basically all chain gift card(s)
This way they can use it or even give it away
(more times than not chain establishments are easy to locate) No matter where you live!

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